Mayor Bill Peduto said officials are trying to increase community programs that keep people off the streets.By Bryant Reed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two shootings overnight have pushed the numbers higher and higher.

This year, Pittsburgh police have investigated 13 homicides. Six of them have happened in the month of March.

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“Many times, what we see with homicide is a retaliatory act,” said Mayor Bill Peduto. “Somebody shoots somebody, they know the person who did it, they look for that person to find them.”

Allegheny County police have seen a rise in both homicides and non-fatal shootings so far in 2021 compared to the first three months of 2020.

Through the first three months of last year, county police investigated 10 homicides. That number was matched in January 2021.

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The nine non-fatal shootings this March match a two-month total last year.

To put the brakes on the uptick in violence, the city is now working on manned police mini-stations in some of Pittsburgh’s more vulnerable neighborhoods like Homewood, the Hill District and the South Side.

“They get to know the people and the people get to know them,” said Peduto. “It’s a way of looking at forward community policing in a way that takes us back to policing of old days when people knew the officer who walked the beat.”

To get guns out of people’s hands for good, Peduto said they’re trying to increase community programs.

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“If you want to take a gun out of a kid’s hand, you have to put a paycheck in it,” said Peduto. “I believe opportunity is the best way to be able to stop crime from happening.”